Is it too late for me to tempt you with a popsicle? I have a feeling that it may already be past popsicle season... as leaves sweep across my front porch and rain pounds the pavement, I fear that you might pass up these beautiful creations for a warm cup of tea. But as long as these are sitting in my freezer I'm going to pretend that the summer sun is still shining, watermelon is still in season, and neon blue nail polish is perfectly acceptable. Just let me have this moment.
Today all of my biking from this summer paid off as I rode the Cycle The WAVE (Women Against Violence Everywhere) in Issaquah. Cycle The WAVE is a non-competitive women's ride meant to inspire awareness and hope for domestic violence victims. This year's proceeds will support the Eastside Domestic Violence Program, DAWN, and New Beginnings.
This ride was really important to me because I spent eight years of my life doing anti-violence awareness and recovery work with women. The best statistics we have suggest that one out of every three women will be abused at some point in her life, whether that is emotionally, mentally, and/or physically. However, given my experience, I would say that statistic is actually closer to one out of two. I find it incredible how many people and families are affected by domestic violence and, yet, many of us still struggle to recognize it in our own homes. My hope is that the more that people become aware of what violence is, the more that we can help to spread awareness and end the cycle together.
I originally signed up for the 42-mile route, but the past two weeks I've been having some severe knee pain while riding and running. Everyone keeps telling me I'm "doing everything right" (i.e. rest days, ice, stretching, strength training, cross training, getting new shoes, having my bike fitted, wearing supportive knee braces, etc), yet, I haven't been able to get the pain to go away. Three days ago I saw my doc and she ruled out any long bike rides until the pain got better.
I was really disappointed after training all summer, but in the end I had to do what was best for my body. Instead of riding 42 miles, I rode the "Little Sister" route of 12 miles. Even though I was a little emotional about it before the ride, by the time I got out on the road I was just grateful to be able to ride at all.
For anyone interested in being part of a ride for the first time, I would definitely recommend Cycle The WAVE. Everyone was super nice and the "Little Sister" route was mostly flat road with one big hill towards the end. One of my favorite parts of the ride was actually the hill because they had signs along the road with inspirational messages. It sure helped me to feel motivated to make it to the top!
I also felt pretty motivated to finish knowing that I had these tasty treats waiting for me at home. These popsicles taste like a frozen agua fresca and you can even throw in a squeeze of lime if you'd like. I preferred to rely on the sweetness of the watermelon, but you can always sweeten these up a bit more for your taste buds. These are the prefect way to end a day of cycling, use up your last watermelon of the season, and celebrate the beginning of another.
Watermelon Mint Popsicles
Makes 6 (depending on the size of your mold)
4 cups of seedless watermelon, rind removed, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Sweetener of your choice (optional)
Blend watermelon in a blender until liquified. (Depending on your blender, you may have to add a tablespoon of water or so to get it going. If you cut the watermelon into smaller chunks it is easier to blend without liquid.) Add the mint and pulse until leaves are incorporated into the liquid, but not completely blended. Add sweetener of your choice (if using).
Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds and freeze overnight.